JW3’s debating series sees ten-fold increase in participation after move online

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JW3’s debating series sees ten-fold increase in participation after move online

Abraham Lecture and Debating Society's transition onto Zoom has seen an average of 200 people tuning in


One of the Jewish community’s most anticipated lectures and debates series has said its move online has seen participation increase tenfold, with free-to-attend events now held on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Organisers of JW3’s Abraham Lecture and Debating Society, for years held in-person with a typical attendance of 20, say its transition to Zoom has led to an average of 200 tuning in, with geography and travel distances no longer a factor.

The isolation of lockdown has in part contributed, they said, and organisations such as Jewish Care have set up systems so that residents can get involved.

“Our online discussions have been a real lifeline for people who would otherwise feel locked in,” said Johnny Sueke. “Older people have been forced to spend more and more time isolated at home due to the pandemic. We want to provide intellectual entertainment and a real sense of community, totally free of charge.”

Online events run every Tuesday and Friday at 11.30am, with half-hour presentations followed by a Q&A open to all. Recent speakers have included Wally Houser, co-founder of the renowned Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

Recent speakers have included Apax founder and international philanthropist Sir Ronnie Cohen as well as renowned trial advocate and defender Jonathan Goldberg QC.

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